Today, we’re launching Ukraine is Here, a new collection on Google Arts & Culture that allows anyone to explore my country’s rich culture and traditions. This showcase of Ukraine’s unwavering spirit is a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, and 10 other partners, including the National Art Museum of Ukraine, National Center of Folk Culture "Ivan Honchar Museum" and The Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema of Ukraine.
Our work with Ukraine's cultural institutions began five years ago, with the aim of making the culture of my homeland more accessible to everyone, everywhere through technology. And today, thanks to local partners — and despite many challenges — we’re able to bring more treasures, stories, and artists from Ukraine to a global audience. This unique collection presents authentic and interactive stories about Ukrainian culture, art, architecture and landscape through music, video, Street View imagery collected before the war, 3D models and virtual galleries — for the first time, all in one place.
Discover the famous and more hidden gems of the capital Kyiv, such as a unique, Art Nouveau-style mansion, the House with Chimeras or landmarks listed by UNESCO World Heritage. These include famous wooden churches and the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans, which spreads over 12 hectares in the northwestern part of Chernivtsi.
Sunflowers, or soniashnyk, have been grown in Ukraine since the mid 18th century and their presence across villages and countryside have made the sunflower an unofficial national symbol. But Ukraine has more natural beauty to offer. More than 600,000 square kilometers are home to magnificent national parks and biosphere reserves. Enjoy breathtaking bird’s-eye views of Dovbush Rocks, Makovytsia Mountain or Uzhansky Park, all located in the Eastern Carpathians, a territory covered with the biggest and oldest oaks in Ukraine, along with ancient beech forests — all protected by UNESCO.
Historic sites in 3D
The preservation of architecture is another key part of this project. In collaboration with Skeiron, a small Ukrainian team of preservation experts, we’re showcasing more than 40 architectural 3D models on Google Arts & Culture and Google Search. These cultural landmarks include St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Palanok Castle, and the National Opera of Ukraine. Thanks to Skeiron’s digitisation efforts, completed before the war began, some of this data represents a lasting record for heritage sites that have been damaged recently, like the Bell Tower of the Dormition Cathedral in Kharkiv. You can also find out how local teams and balbek bureau developed the shelter's design to protect statues, too.
Take a tour to see iconic works by Ukrainian artists inside six virtual exhibition spaces that celebrate our rich heritage, like Tymofii Boichuk’s Around the Apple Tree, which unites Byzantine traditions, Ukrainian folklore and modern style.
Stroll around the galleries to see portraits, representations of furry and feathered friends in classic and traditional art, avant-garde works, and beautiful Ukrainian architecture and landscape paintings. Admire the art of Oleksandra Ekster, Sonia Delaunay or Victor Palmov. As you step closer, you’ll see their paintings in stunning detail and can learn more about each piece. It’s also possible to see how some of these artworks look in life size, in your own room, using the Art Projector via our Google Arts & Culture app, which uses augmented reality technology.
Discover Ukrainian seasonal folk ceremonies and festival traditions, which are closely related to the agrarian way of life, and link back to the pagan beliefs of the Slavs. Join the Kupala ritual or a procession of Bush rite, originally called Vodinnya Kusta. Try to make Vilkivsky soup — a fish dish of Bessarabian cuisine, see how to create pysanka — Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated with traditional customary symbols using wax and paints, or listen to musical performances.
The crafts of today
If you’re wondering who keeps all of these traditions alive, find out about the people who are doing just that. From a unique combination of design thinking, deep ethnographic research and artistry come artisanal pieces that perfectly fit modern-day needs — like the coats from the Carpathian Mountains that so many Ukrainians wear during winter.
Ukrainian heritage, today and tomorrow
This initiative lets people discover the rich history, magnificent locations and natural sites of our beautiful country — including our charming capital, Kyiv, which dates back more than 1,500 years. We’re proud to launch this collection and as we go forward, we’ll continue to work with partners to enrich it.